Turkish-Canadian man from Moncton, N.B., worries and waits following earthquake last week

To shared

For the last eight days, Mustafa Kutan’s days have been spent in front of his TV, watching a live feed from Turkiye.

“It sucks,” he said. “I mean, it is really hard, OK? I try to send some money to some organizations that are getting together [to send] food and services to the area. I wish I could be there and drive up there to do something.”

Kutan moved to Moncton 22 years ago but still has family and friends in the country. Since retiring, he says he tries to go visit as often as he can, including his most recent trip in January. But so much has changed since he returned back to New Brunswick just a few weeks ago.

Now, he wakes up in the early morning hours to try and connect with his loved ones who are in Malatya, Turkiye right now.

“They are trying to survive,” he explained. “They sleep in cars. They are having a really hard time right now.”

Adding, “some of my family moved out of the city to villages, which they think that’s much safer because the city is… all the buildings are down and the remaining are not safe to get in and they are expecting another earthquake at that area and they think that with that strong of [an] earthquake… that will be it. The remains will go down.”

He’s been able to speak to all of his family members, including his son who is in the country until May. He says they have a family group chat, which allows them to keep up communication through the internet since phone calls are unreliable.

Even with knowing his family is safe, the devastation is still growing.

“I still have friends in some other cities and I cannot hear from them, not yet. I’m worried about them, it looks like I lost them,” he said.

Over the first few days, the biggest need revolved around food and water according to Kutan, but now the need is starting to change.

“They are struggling because of the wounded people,” he said. “They don’t have enough space in the hospitals and I’ve seen, I’ve seen this video all the people that are on the floors in those bags… that sucks.”

Another issue is the fact that banks are down and ATMs are now empty.

“I sent some money to a friend of mine and they don’t get it. It’s in their account, but there’s no money,” he said.

“I don’t know how they’re going to survive, but everybody is trying to understand each other, saying ‘OK you can pay it later or give it later,’ that kind of stuff, which is amazingly good.”

As for what can be done from Canada, Kutan says donations should all be made through an official organization like the Canadian Red Cross.

To shared